Classical Chinese Theater (in English)

This course covers three basic categories of traditional theater in China. It begins with the short form known as zaju of the Yuan Dynasty (thirteenth to the fourteenth centuries), when dramatic works began to be written by identifiable authors. Next come the long and elaborate chuanqi (or kunqu) of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (fourteenth to twentieth centuries), including the still performed Peony Pavilion by Tang Xianzu. The last category is Peking opera, a form that originated during the second half of the Qing Dynasty, around 1790, and is regularly performed today. Most of our dramas were written by men, but we will also look at a few by women. The interrelation between forms will be discussed, as will the effects of the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 on Peking opera and other opera forms. Lastly such perennial themes as Mulan and The White Snake will be surveyed.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None. Not open to students who have taken CHIN 344.

Instructor: Widmer

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature; ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: This course is also offered at the 300-level as CHIN 344 with additional assignments.